Deer vs. Car Accidents are a Big Problem in Wisconsin
For residents of the state of Wisconsin who have spent any time at all on Wisconsin roadways—particularly during the fall—it likely comes as no surprise that the number of vehicles which collide with deer is increasing. In fact, the state of Wisconsin is now at number 5 in the United States for deer vs. car accidents, according to an annual study done by State Farm. Overall, if you live in Wisconsin (and drive on a regular basis), you have a one-in-72 chance of hitting a deer, and subsequently filing an insurance claim due to the damage to your vehicle.
Why Deer Collisions Increase During the Fall
During the months of October, November and December, male deer are in “rut,” meaning they are out seeking females to mate. During these three months, the average driver’s chance of hitting a deer nearly double, when compared to other times of the year. In 2016, Wisconsin insurers dealt with nearly 58,000 auto accident claims which were a direct result of a collision with a deer. There were likely more deer accidents, however when the damage is not extensive, some drivers may choose to forego an auto insurance claim in an attempt to keep their rates at a reasonable level.
How Many Claims Are Filed Across the Nation for Deer Collisions?
On a national level, a whopping 1.3 million insurance claims were filed in 2016 for damage to vehicles due to a collision with a deer. Other than Wisconsin, the top five states for the highest numbers of insurance claims due to a deer collision are West Virginia, Montana, Pennsylvania and Iowa. The average cost per claim has also risen fairly significantly, going from $3,995 in 2015 to $4,179 in 2016. If you live in the state of Wisconsin—or any other state with a large deer population—it is important that you be especially vigilant at dusk and dawn. If you do encounter a deer on the roadway, brake, and do your best to avoid swerving, as this could cause a much more serious collision. Also remember that deer seldom travel alone, and if you see one deer crossing the road, there will likely be more following.
How to Avoid Hitting a Deer
Other tips to avoid hitting a deer include:
- Slow down, particularly during the hours when deer are the most active.
- Watch out for deer-crossing signs.
- If you travel the same road on a daily basis, make a mental note of where your regularly see deer.
- Be even more alert than usual during the peak hours when deer are most likely to be seen.
- When driving at night, use your high beams when possible, to lessen your chances of hitting a deer.
- While many drivers swear by deer whistles, do not depend on these devices, and stay alert. Animals are unpredictable at best, so thinking you know their patterns and behaviors can leave you with a crumpled bumper.
- Always buckle up—A study done for the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety found that more than half of all those killed in animal-vehicle collisions were not wearing a seatbelt.
This study also found that while residents of the state of Montana have a one in fifty-seven chance of colliding with a deer during any given year, Hawaii drivers have only a one in 6,832 chance of colliding with a deer, or other large animal. Obviously, this is a significant difference, therefore those who live in states where deer are prevalent must be particularly vigilant in watching for deer, and must learn how to safely avoid hitting a deer whenever possible.
Contact Our Milwaukee Car Accident Lawyers
At Aiken & Scoptur, S.C., we work with credible expert professionals to investigate and document all car accident cases. We know that you need money now to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and car repairs – and we are committed to helping you obtain maximum compensation after an accident.
Our Milwaukee car accident attorneys are dedicated to getting clients the full compensation they deserve. We take all personal injury cases on contingency, so you will not pay us a fee unless we help you obtain money damages. To discuss your case with an experienced trial lawyer, call us at 414-914-2803 or contact us today. We represent clients throughout the state from offices in Wauwatosa and Wild Rose.